The Indian Health Service’s (HIS) Office of Urban Indian Health Programs, on April 1, 2019 https://www.ihs.gov/urban awarded grants totaling more than $7.5 million to 30 urban Indian organizations across the U.S.
The grants ranging from $164,373 to $645,595 will provide more healthcare services to American Indians and Alaska Natives residing in urban areas and will support operations at urban healthcare facilities.
In addition, at the end of February, IHS released their Strategic Plan for FY 2019-2023 https://www.ihs.gov/strategicplan. The plan based on feedback from tribes, tribal organizations, Indian organizations, staff, and stakeholders, included in Objective 3.3 of the plan, discusses ways to modernize information technology and information systems to support data driven decisions.
The plan is to include the following strategies to support Health Information Technology by:
- Evaluating EHR needs of the IHS and work to meet these needs, create seamless data linkages, and meet data access needs for Indian Health Services and Tribal Health Providers health information systems
- Developing a consistent, robust, stable, secure, state-of-the-art HIT system to support clinician workflow, improve data collection, increase transparency, and provide regular and ongoing data analysis
- Modernizing the HIT system for the IHS Resource and Patient Management System in order to use commercial off-the-shelf packages
- Aligning with universal patient record systems to link off-reservation care systems that serve American Indians and Alaska Natives
- Enhancing and expanding technology such as IHS telecommunications to provide access for consulting on care and stabilizing care, decreasing transportation needs, and providing timely care at any IHS funded health program
The plan also includes strategies to improve the Data Process by:
- Providing available data to inform I/T/U decision-making
- Taking actions to deal with performance data, standardizing data, and reporting on further requirements
- Assuring that data sharing is used to form partnerships with Tribal and Urban Epidemiology Centers and other Tribal programs and Urban Indian Organizations
- Enabling data analytics and business intelligence to be applied to disparate data stored in a single general purpose database that can hold many types of data and then enable this data to be distributed to users anywhere on the network
Go to https://www.ihs.gov/strategicplan/goal-3 for more information on health information technology and the data process included in Goal 3 of the IHS Strategic Plan.